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The Waking Dark [Hardcover]

Robin Wasserman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 10.61
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Hardcover 10.59  
Paperback 5.19  
Audio, CD, Audiobook 34.00  
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Book Description

10 Sep 2013
The Waking Dark is “a horror story worthy of Stephen King” (Booklist) and “a book you won’t soon forget” (Cassandra Clare, author of the Mortal Instruments series)—perfect for readers of Gillian Flynn and Rick Yancey.
They called it the killing day. Twelve people murdered, in the space of a few hours, their killers also all dead by their own hand . . . except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town.
Something is waking in the sleepy town of Oleander, Kansas—something dark and hungry that lives in the flat earth and the open sky, in the vengeful hearts of its upstanding citizens. As the town begins a descent into blood and madness, five survivors of the killing day are the only ones who can stop Oleander from destroying itself.
They have nothing in common. They have nothing left to lose. And they have no way out. Which means they have no choice but to stand and fight, to face the darkness in their town—and in themselves.

“Suspense, chills, gasps—all that and a gem-like writing style that will make you shiver with beauty and horror. A book you won’t soon forget.” —Cassandra Clare, author of the bestselling Mortal Instruments series and Infernal Devices trilogy

“Twisted, pulse-pounding, shocking, and very, very scary. With The Waking Dark, Robin Wasserman conjures vintage Stephen King as she peers into the dark heart of a nightmare America, where violence and evil lurk behind the golden glow of small-town life, and new terrors arrive by the hour. A superb horror story that is by turns visceral and lyrical, heartrending and heart-stopping.” —Libba Bray, bestselling author of the Gemma Doyle trilogy and the Diviners series
“This book has the combination of mystery and fright that I love. So many twists and shocks, I nearly jumped out of my chair several times! Trust me—this is a true chiller. Not to be missed!” —R. L. Stine
“A thriller dark and beautiful and—yes—achingly romantic at every unexpected twist and turn. Astounding.” —Lauren Myracle, New York Times bestselling author of The Infinite Moment of Us and Bliss
“Wild, nihilistic madness that will get true horror fans raising their pitchforks and torches in frenzied glee. Wasserman writes as if hooked up to IVs of Stephen King and John Carpenter's spiked blood.” —Daniel Kraus, author of Rotters and Scowler

"Great dialogue and intriguing subplots add to the action-packed story . . . the suspense doesn’t let up until the final pages." —School Library Journal, Starred Review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 454 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (10 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375868771
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375868771
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.5 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,433,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A dark, horror thriller from acclaimed writer Robin Wasserman --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

The town of Oleander is postcard perfect.

Until one day.

The day the Devil came to Oleander.

Whatever they called it, through the months to come - through the funerals and the dinners and the sidelong glances between formerly trusting neighbours - it was all anyone could talk about. It seemed safe to assume it was all anyone would ever talk about, just as it was assumed that Oleander had been changed for ever, and that, once buried, the bodies would stay in the ground.

But then the storms came . . .

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Elle L
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Waking Dark reminded me initially of another series I really enjoyed, Dark Inside (2 of the 3 of the series are out): something dark is spreading, whispering evil to everyone. Some people will answer, some wont and will just try and stay human. Threads of parallel stories unfolding, although Dark Inside talks about an much wider event, and our heroes there start from different parts of the states to meet at one point. The Waking Dark is, in a way, scarier and freakier because its happening in a closely knit community, a small town called Oleander. We follow the different teens narrate their story from their POV and towards the end of the book they all meet and then the stakes go even higher as all of our protagonists have to fight together to stay alive. Its then when we really start to care. Despite a slow start, i guess necessary for the world building of the town of Oleander, the story accelerates, the plots meet and twist and thicken, the heroes change, some for better some for worst, and the danger grows bigger as did my nail biting angst to see how they will survive. A great horror story, perhaps too scary for young adults, but enjoyable nevertheless.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  68 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastically Intense YA Thriller/Horror Novel!! 26 Oct 2013
By Stephanie Ward - Published on
4.5 Stars

'The Waking Dark' is an fantastically intense young adult mystery/thriller novel that tells the story of the small town of Oleander, Kansas. Everything is predictable, boring - normal - in Oleander. That is, until what they refer to as The Killing Day. The day when 12 people were murdered in a matter of hours. Not long after The Killing Day, a strong storm hits the town and leaves it broken and upside down. Soon the roads leading out of town are blocked off by soldiers with guns, barbed wire fences and they have no access to the outside world at all. Stranger yet are the people of Oleander. The once quiet and peaceful citizens are turning on one another and committing crimes nobody thought possible in their small town. Just what is happening to Oleander and the people inside it? Why won't the soldiers answer their questions or let them leave? A group of teens - Daniel, West, Jule, Cass, and Ellie - band together to try to find out the truth of what's happening and to find a way out. Although they have known each other since they were little, it is soon evident that everyone has secrets. Will they be able to stop whatever is happening in Oleander before it's too late? Will they find a way out to get help? Or will they suffer the same fate as everyone else and lose themselves to the darkness enveloping the town?

I am a huge fan of mysteries and thriller/suspense novels, so I was immediately intrigued when I read the description of this book. It gave a great idea of what it would be about without revealing too much. I have to admit that I was definitely not disappointed and the book far exceeded any expectations I may have had. The plot was really unique and captivating - there's so many strange things happening to different characters at the same time. It definitely kept me on my toes, but didn't confuse or overwhelm me. The writing was fantastic with an effortless flow and a really quick pace that had me eagerly reading as fast as I could to try to find out what was happening to the people an the town and how it would all end. I tried to come up with theories and ideas about what could be going on, but then the author would slip in a huge twist or turn and I would be back at the beginning. The characters were all very well written, especially the group of teens that band together. We get to see each of their personalities, their strengths and weaknesses, and their secrets - which only made them more realistic in my eyes. There are several genres blended together in the book - action, horror, adventure, suspense, mystery, romance. It will definitely appeal to fans of all types of fiction. This book had me instantly hooked from the first paragraph and refused to let go until well after I had finished reading. Very highly recommended for fans of YA mysteries and thriller/suspense novels. You don't want to miss out on this one!

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Writing, Amazing Horror 11 Sep 2013
By Kenzie - Published on
There is a proper way to prepare for reading The Waking Dark. You should wait until it's half-past eleven and the sky is as dark as you've ever seen it. The rain should be pummeling against your windows, threatening to shatter the glass. The faint sound of thunder should be whispering in the distance. All but one light, just enough for you to read, should be turned off. Your furniture should be casting odd shadows onto the walls, ones that look like they may be moving. A cup of tea should be by your side. And finally, you should be curled into a ball on the comfiest chair in your house. You should be relaxed, expecting an enjoyable, calming story. In no way should you be afraid. Not yet.

It's hard for me to describe my emotions while reading The Waking Dark without revealing anything crucial to the plot. And trust me, everything in this book is crucial to the plot. It is so well thought out and put together; it left me breathless. The cyclical pattern of human nature is so enthralling that you don't even mind the violence.

I can't say the characters were good people. I can't say that I'd want to be their friend or that I have a literary crush on any of them. But, damn, they may have been some of the best characters that I have ever gotten to read. It's hard to separate the heroes from the villains, but that is an intentional aspect. It's the same in life. Telling the good people from the bad people has never been as easy as comic books would like to pretend.

The best part of this book though is the writing. All of the details that Wasserman goes into mesh brilliantly together, forming scenes of horror that could rival any movie you'd watch on Halloween. But just as great as all the details were the ones left unsaid. Those, truthfully, were the most painful, since it was always clear what had happened in the missing words. Wasserman has a talent for writing suspense that will be hard for anyone else to rival.

Now, this book is on shelves TODAY. If you're not reading it, you're missing out.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as scary as I'd hoped, but a very good read! 4 Feb 2014
By Michele @ A Belle's Tales - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very dark and intense read. At times I didn't want to look, but I had to keep turning the pages because I didn't dare look away! That was mostly due to the gore because, truth be told, I didn’t find this read as scary as it was hyped up to be. I read a lot of Stephen King and Dean Koontz in my younger years, so perhaps I have some immunity to that particular aspect. There were things that were unsettling to read in this story; and while my teen doesn’t scare easily, I still can’t put this one in her hands due to the language and sexual situations. I definitely think this is more in the older YA category. The author’s writing is solid with well fleshed-out characters. The multiple POV’s were handled nicely, but I can’t help but wonder if the reason I never connected with any one character in particular was because there were so many. All in all a good read that, while not blown away, I certainly wasn’t about to stop reading until I reached the end.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy, but too long 29 Jan 2014
By Gertrude, the Innocent - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
By the end of the first chapter, it seemed like it would be a good idea to put a ring of army around this town to lock them all in so they would only hurt each other. There was a lot of violence that seemed to hit a lot of people hard. It was strange that the violence was passionless.

This reminded me of Stephen King's Under the Dome: A Novel which I only watched on Under the Dome: Season One, even though I bought the book. Like many of his novels, it sounded like a great concept, just 200 pages too long. I was really happy to watch it as a mini-series, whether it was an accurate representation of the book or not.

This town is not covered by a dome but they are definitely quarantined. At first it is by their own insanity, but later by a more ominous army The only way around them is death,. Being surrounded makes them cling together, in sin and craziness.

Another way this book is reminiscent of Stephen King's is that someone should have cut at least 25% of the words out before it made it to press. It would have been a lot better if things had not been so....wordy. The problem with this wordiness it is the story loses all sense of immediacy.

-Gertrude of Amazon
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Intense, Not for Younger Teens 18 Jan 2014
By Lauri Crumley Coates - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The comparisons to King are pretty level on. This is a horror book, and a graphic one at that. May not be good for sensitive and/or younger young adult readers. I am a huge King fan, and it did read like one of his earlier reads....he's mellowed a bit as time went on. A town gone wild, we see blood, gore, bullies and more here. Without giving much away, suffice to say it's a great read for horror lovers, one that will retain their interest through to the end. Not all the characters are given an even treatment, some are just not as finely drawn or interesting as others. Of course, that's to be expected in a novel of this genre. If you enjoy a dark, quick moving horror walk, this is for you. I certainly enjoyed it.
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